Ugochi watched as Fredrick paced nervously in front of her. For the first time since she met him, she came to his house for a visit. Also, this is the first time he’s showing any form of nervousness to her, he’s always so cool and collected. He looks cute in his nervousness, though.
“Fredrick, will you calm down please? Won’t you have a seat and let’s talk about this?”
She looked around but couldn’t find another seat except the sofa she was seating on. Fredrick’s place is the perfect example of a bachelor pad. He had just the bare essentials; a sofa, a big ass TV, a DVD, cable TV, a lot of books arranged neatly on the bookshelf, and that was it.
He must be an avid reader. Only a person who loves books will take such great care to arrange them properly and care for them in such a way. Ugochi looked towards him, he was still pacing.
“Fredrick, come on. It’s not the end of the world, you know. I know how insensitive Ikem can be so I don’t blame you for flying off the handle.”
“I just don’t know what to do. I don’t care about Ikem but he was the only link I had towards my mother. Now, I might never get to meet her because I wasn’t patient with him.”
“Come sit. I’m sure we can devise a plan.”
He reluctantly shuffled towards her. He had such a worried look on his face and Ugochi felt for him.
“I don’t know what to do.” He put his head in his hands
Ugochi moved closer to him and put her arm around him. “It’s going to be fine. You’ll get to meet her even if we have to stalk him until he goes to visit her.”
Fredrick turned his head towards her and smiled for the first time in two hours. “Now, that’s a brilliant plan!”
Ugochi looked at him askance. “But, I was just kidding!”
“No, no, look at it this way. Ikem just heard this monumental news that he is maybe a twin and that his mother has another child out there. What do you think he would do?”
“He’ll probably go visit her to ask and confirm if it was true?”
“Bingo! I think he’ll visit her very soon. We need to be prepared.”
“But Fredrick, isn’t that rather taking it too far?”
“How else am I going to know my birth parents? Do you see Ikem reaching out after what happened? He believes I took you from him, he thinks we are together and that you’ve been lying to him for a long time. That alone can cloud any man’s judgment.”
“What a load of rubbish. I’ve never cheated on him and he knows it. Anyway, I’m done with that.”
“Are you sure?”
“You expect me to go back to him after he beat me black and blue?”
“No, I don’t but you never know with abuse victims. Most times, they end up back with their abuser.”
“I assure you I’m not going back.”
“Not even when he comes begging, hat in hand?”
“When? Not if?”
“Yes, when. Believe me, he’s going to come back and beg.”
“If you say so but not even then. I’m never going back to Ikem.”
“That’s good. That’s very good.”
“You sound suspiciously happy.”
“That’s because I know a good thing when I see it.” He winked
“What’s that supposed to mean?” she narrowed her eyes suspiciously
“Time will tell, babe. Time will tell.” he winked again. “But really, how come you didn’t meet Ikem’s parents? Or rather, my parents?”
“Who said I didn’t?”
“If you met them, you’ll obviously know where they live.”
“Ohh, yeah. The time was just never right.”
“Yes, I just wasn’t ready for that kind of ‘meeting the parents’ commitment yet. Now, I’m glad I didn’t.”
“Hmm, you can say that again.” He clapped his hands together eagerly. “So, are you in this with me?”
“Uh, yeah. You don’t expect me to miss all the fun.”
He clapped his hands together like someone preparing to dig into a delicacy. “Let’s do this then.”
Ugochi couldn’t help but smile. “Yeah, let’s”
They took up the challenge and immediately began following Ikem. It wasn’t as easy as they thought it would be though. They didn’t put into consideration other things that might put a demand on their time, and they didn’t figure they’ll have to follow him every day and all the time so as to get the exact time he goes to visit his parents. By the time, they had followed him around Ibadan city for a whole day, amidst traffic and all, they were tired of running after him.
Ugochi finally came up with a plan. She suggested Fredrick follows for a part of the day while she does other things and she would take over at a particular time. Of course, she was able to do this at all because she took time off work after the altercation she had with Ikem and Fredrick also had time because he took a leave of absence from work to find out his ancestry. The second plan worked out beautifully.
It was Ugochi’s turn to follow Ikem when they finally had a break. She had followed him all afternoon, went with him to a barber to have a haircut, followed him to lunch, and followed him to what looked suspiciously like a booty call. She didn’t want to believe he had started seeing someone else already, but that was definitely what it looked like. That finally put a death to whatever leftover feelings she had been harboring for him.
At about 6pm, when she was ready to quit and call it a day, he finally visited a venue that looked very promising. She remembered Ikem speaking to her about his parents one day and he had mentioned they lived at Ikolaba in Ibadan. His next stop was a gated house at Ikolaba and something told Ugochi they finally hit the jackpot. She quickly put a call to Fredrick.
“Hello, Fredrick. I think I’ve got the place. He’s at a house in Ikolaba and he once told me his parents have a house there. Can you come quickly?”
“I’m on my way. Where exactly are you?”
“It’s a street called Romeo Avenue. I’m parked directly across the street from the house he entered. It’s the third house on your right with a red gate.” After giving him directions, she hung up, praying he would get there in time.
She had been there for about thirty minutes when Ikem suddenly stormed out, slamming the passenger gate and stalking to his car. Before long, an older woman came out and ran towards him, pulling his arm. She was talking, but Ugochi couldn’t make out her words. Ikem’s face was turned away and he finally jerked his arm free and got into his car. He started the engine and drove away, leaving her by the road looking after him.
For a split second the woman turned her face towards Ugochi and Ugochi was stunned by the resemblance between her and the twin men. She finally wiped tears from her face, turned and walked forlornly inside her house. Ugochi knew she had just seen Fredrick and Ikem’s mother.
She dialed Fredrick’s number again. “Where are you?” she asked
“I’m almost there. I encountered a bit of traffic at Ring Road. What’s up?”
“Ikem just left now and I think I just saw your mother.”
“What? What happened?”
She gave him a brief description of what she just witnessed. “He obviously went away angry.” She concluded.
“Okay, I’m like two minutes away. You’ll see me soon.”
Ugochi kept watching the house nervously, crouched in her seat. She felt so conspicuous sitting there, furtively looking out her window. She hoped nobody would challenge her. Before long, she saw Fredrick’s car in her rearview mirror and got out of hers to wait for him by the side of the road.
“What’s happening now?” he asked as soon as he got out of his car. He looked anxious.
“Nothing since I spoke with you last. What do you want to do?”
“Go in there and introduce myself, of course.”
“What? Just like that?”
“Yes, Ugochi. That is what this is all about. Besides, I think my credential will speak for itself.” He indicated his face.
“Okay. What’s the plan, then?”
“No plan. I knock on the door, ask to see the people living in the house and go from there.”
“No. I don’t think I should come with you. You should do this on your own.”
“Yes. I’ll wait here for you.”
“Okay.” He gave her a quick hug and kiss. “Which house?”
She pointed it out and he walked quickly to the gate and knocked. Ugochi watched as someone opened the gate, and after a while Fredrick walked in. He didn’t look back.
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